How powerful is the Librem 5, and how could I make games for it?


If you want a pre-built engine you could try Blender’s game engine. It’s FLOSS, so it probably will work on the phone. I’m guessing most professional game developers don’t use the engine because the results would fall under the engine’s copyleft. Just keep the phone’s specs in mind.


Oh I’ll take a look at that engine! My boss recommended Construct! Apparently that should build to the phone as well, as it can build to raspberry pi :slight_smile:


The Librem 5’s primary input is its touch screen. I think you should verify that your engine of choice can take touch input.


Primary but not only. External keyboards should be alright if touch isn’t functional.


Construct supports touch, so really hoping it works on the librem! :slight_smile:


Qt Creator is awesome. Clean, slim interface, but so many features available on second sight.

@shadoww: Can you elaborate on that? If you’re a FOSS advocate, use the LGPL licensed Qt, just like any other LGPL code out there. You don’t even have to think about paying.
If you want to build closed source apps that statically link Qt and/or you need a support contract, give em the money. No big deal, imho.


I tried the Raspberry Pi 3B+ approach to play around with real ARM64 hardware (Cortex-A53 core). As I have been new to the Raspberry Pi ecosystem, this has been a quite rough ride :smile:.

Here are some hints, for noobs like me, trying to get a Librem 5-like system running on the Raspberry Pi:

  • The Librem 5 will use a i.MX 8 with ARM64/AARCH64; unfortunately, the default OS Raspbian still isn’t available for the ARM64/AARCH64 architecture,
  • You could use the Raspbian image with ARMHF (32-bit), but I went for ARM64/AARCH64. For this, you’ll have to use one of the experimental Debian ARM64 images available.
  • I chose the the modified Debian image available at and followed the additional instructions at “Debian Buster arm64 on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+”.
  • After the first login to the newly installed system, I included the original apt sources of the Librem 5 and installed all missing packages (info extracted from the QEMU images for the Librem 5).

Long story short: I took me some time to get this system up and running. Debian ARM64 for the Raspberry Pi has still some way to go before it’s production ready. ATM I’m still missing essential bits for the ARM64 Pi environment, f.ex. my touchscreen doesn’t work. But my main goal has been accomplished: Phosh is running quite the same as in the QEMU images. Enough for me to play around. :grinning:


Blender Game Engine is dead, it was announced by Blender foundation a few months ago. I’m surprised nobody mentioned Godot Engine. It is the only serious way to go if you want a cross-platform open source game engine with a full editor. Armory Engine is also worth looking at too.
If you don’t care about an editor then there are many other frameworks (SDL, LÖVE, etc…).

Godot Engine and Armory Engine can export to basically all platforms so this will not be a problem for the Librem 5 which is just a Linux. However you will have to be extremely conservative in terms of effects (so bake all the lighting, no fancy shaders effects, limited polygon count, no shadow mapping, etc…) because this is a mobile platform and not a gamer pc.

Even cooler, as Librem 5 is running a real Linux, so if you want, you can plug it to a monitor and a keyboard and develop the game on the phone itself (mind blown)


Godot doesn’t support native Wayland though if I remember correctly.


Did you get around to doing the benchmarks? :slight_smile:


Trying to figure out all the terminology and specifications is daunting haha, I’ll just test UE4 for the librem 5 when I finally get it and hope it works haha. I sent a mail to the Construct 3 team if they could clarify if their engine supported Wayland or not. For Unity wayland support has been in beta since 2017? So not sure if they’re doing anything to improve that or put it into a stable build.


Is there a big difference in running a game in wayland or using htlm5/webgl or something else? Performance-wise?


Unfortunately, no. Before I do that I want to flash Debian to the board. I’ve so far been only stumbling upon the documentation I need. Only yesterday evening did I find how to flash to the eMMC from an external computer. Progress is slow.


Well keep us posted! I’m really curious about the power of the librem and the gpu :slight_smile: And how long it can retain certain levels of processing power if it gets too hot :o


Hey there, potential Librem 5 game developers! :grinning:
Purism partners with GDquest to develop adaptive game tutorials with Godot


Would Purism prefer Godot over Unity/Unreal because Godot is open/free? Or does that not matter for games?


I prefer Godot for those reasons. And it “just works”. Last time I tried the Unity linux beta (for a non personal project) it was a disaster and unusable.


Well I’m busy trying to learn Godot, but I also want to see if Unreal works nicely with the librem. Guess we’ll see when it ships :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m pretty curious if a mini2Dx project will work (and by extension Libgdx).
I recently got the lwjgl and libgdx native backends compiled on my raspberry pi so I think this would be possible too :thinking: that would be the best! (I’m a java guy)


Hi Raggelen,

Im working on a html5 canvas game for the Librem5.
you can se my progress here:

and here:

My next game is going to be a 3d game.
I havent decided what platform to use yet. But my candidates are Godot or Html5/WebGL.

Unfortunately i only preordered the L5 and not the devkit, so im relying on some of the owners og the devkit to test my work :expressionless:

br Magnus